Sunday, 20 March 2016

welcome to the first day of spring.

March 20th 2016 is the official first day of Spring, here in the UK. Our weather here in South Wales today is very overcast and cold. But there signs of spring all around us and have been for several weeks.
It's also the time of year for spring migration of birds, and some insects given the right weather conditions. you really need to keep an eye on the skies, as well as eye level. You just never know what might turn up in front of you or over you. 
I got really excited earlier when looking out the window into the garden. A small, brown bird caught my eye in the neighbour's apple tree that's also by our fence. It was obscured by the branches. I grabbed the binoculars and it flew across our garden. I ran to the back door, quietly opened it and the bird was sitting on the wooden rail of our decking steps, and promptly flew away again. Back to the window overlooking the apple tree - no sign. I shouted for my husband to come and see, as he is the problem solver of bird identification when I'm not sure (having been a birder all his life is a lot more experienced than me). It popped up in front if us back in the apple tree. I  ran upstairs for the camera and back down again. It had flown across to the bottom of out decking steps again where we have some pot plants. It was having a lovely time, feasting on who knows what on the plants. Turned out to be a Chiffchaff. An aptly named bird by its song - sounds like it's saying 'chiff chaff'. A generally olive-brown and buffy/cream coloured bird with a small pale eyestripe and black legs. They are known as migrants but occasionally do overwinter in the UK. It's hard to say for sure about this individual. 


So keep your eyes peeled for anything unusual or just to see our amazing returning migrant birds who have travelled thousands of miles to breed here in the UK, such as Sand Martins, House Martins, Swallows, warblers, Cuckoos...and the mega amazing Osprey. 
Here are some links for information purposes if you interested in the delightful little, and large, creatures.

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